Self Help FAQ

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Can I Lose Weight Without Dieting?

Posted on | June 15, 2010 | 4 Comments


Absolutely! Barring any medical problems you might have, such as with your thyroid or a myriad of other conditions, you CAN lose weight, using just some common sense. Here’s what I do to keep my weight in check:

1) Practice portion control. At each meal, stick to portions that are right for YOU, no more-no less. You can figure this out by first measuring a portion according the package labels and then reflecting on how you feel after you’ve eaten. For instance, when I tried eating a package’s definition of one portion of oatmeal at breakfast, I felt too full afterward and adjusted by 25% less. That felt fine to me, so I eat less than what is called for. For unpackaged foods, you may have to research the definition of a “portion.” For example, with fish, my research shows a portion to be the size of a deck of cards. I tried that and it felt fine to me, so that’s how much fish I will eat at a sitting. When eating in restaurants, where portions are usually much larger than recommended, I’ll cut away the correct portion and save the rest for a future meal at home.

2) “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, and dinner like a pauper.” This little proverb is quite wise (and clever)! As the day goes on, you have less and less time to burn calories, so it makes sense to start big and cut back on food as your day passes. Not only that, but you need to start your day with lots of energy to get your work done, so a big breakfast can really kick-start it.

3) Control your starches, fats, sugars, and salts. Notice I said “control,” not “cut out.” These little culprits are well known to help you put on pounds fast, so you need to be mindful of them. You can enjoy them, but just watch how much you consume. As for starches, put very little on your plate or skip them at most meals. For me, at least, starches have been responsible for most of my weight gain, if I am not controlling my intake of them. For fats, it is recommended that you eat no more than 30% of your calories as fat. No, you don’t have to do a lot of math with calorie counting…just read labels to see how much fat percentage per serving there is in each product before consuming. Choose products well known for being low fat. For example, you want something low fat but crunchy and salty: opt for pretzels instead of potato chips. Plan your fat intake around meals. You want a chocolate bar? Fine, have one, but then make sure your next meal is low in fat (like a salad with low fat dressing). That’s a good trade-off. As for sugar, I have found that a lot of people (myself included) take in too much sugar through soft drinks. If you can’t go cold-turkey off of soft drinks and don’t want to consume the “fake” sugar, then make yourself drink mostly water throughout the day, with a promise of a soft drink at some point. Try several different bottled waters to see which tastes “better” or “sweeter.” You’ll be more likely to drink water if you like the taste. Also, the taste of water improves with time. You get used to it and in some instances, end up preferring it to sugary, syrupy sweet soft drinks. As for salt—it is a TOUGH habit to break and my only suggestion is to cut back little by little. And ALWAYS taste your food FIRST before adding table salt. You’d be surprised how many foods really don’t need it or any more of it. You do need SOME salt in your diet, but too much of it really just helps you retain water and raises your blood pressure. Another good way to combat the damage of salt is to eat more foods with potassium. I make sure to eat at least one banana a day to help with this. Other foods to eat that are high in potassium: oranges, cantaloupe, spinach, yogurt, beet greens, halibut, blackstrap molasses.

4) Drink a decent amount of water every day. By “decent,” I mean at least 40-64 fluid ounces. That’s 5-8 little bottles (8 oz) of water a day. That’s not too hard to do (I can at least drink 5 of those). You can get the rest of your liquids through other beverages, such as juice, tea, coffee, etc. Drinking the water helps keep you off of soft drinks and helps your body flush out what it doesn’t need, not to mention how great it makes your skin look!

5) Try to get 30 minutes of activity each day. This can mean taking a walk, doing exercises in front of your TV, doing housework–anything that gives you some kind of movement that gets your blood circulating, preferably earlier in the day. You want to rev up your metabolism to get calories burning throughout the day. If it’s an activity you enjoy, it won’t seem like exercise. It’ll be good for you and help control your weight.

6) Eat fruits, veggies, or nuts between meals. The fruits and veggies will give you fiber (to fill you up) and vitamins (always good) as well as juice (for hydration). The nuts give you protein (a well-known hunger crusher) and minerals (also always good). Clear out junk food from your fridge/cupboards to keep you from gaining fast and not getting any good nutrition.

Those are my tips for losing weight without dieting. There are many more things you can do. In fact, if you have other ideas to add to this list, please put them below, in the comments section…and thanks!

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4 Responses to “Can I Lose Weight Without Dieting?”

  1. Anderson Brighter
    February 10th, 2015 @ 1:18 am

    3 weeks ago I started the 3 week diet and as usual I wasn’t convinced it would work but it was recommended by a friend so I gave it a go. To my surprise the pounds starting falling off and so I thought it only right to spread the word.

  2. Barb D
    March 2nd, 2015 @ 12:18 pm

    Thank you for the info.!

  3. John Aderholdt
    July 10th, 2015 @ 5:55 pm

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  4. Barb D
    September 7th, 2017 @ 12:11 pm

    Thanks, John! Yes, it would be nice!

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